By Charles Towne

Buddy bear was only about a year old when I met him and he taught me a lot as I followed him.  One of the things he taught me is that bears, all bears, have a finely honed curiosity.

As I followed the little guy on his explorations he was prone to examine each and every hole in the ground, hollow tree, and rotten log to see what it might contain.

Sometimes his explorations would pay off with a nest of delectable ants or some sweet and juicy grubs, but then one day it happened, the little bear stuck his head in the wrong hole.

In that hole, minding its own business, taking a nap, or some other mundane activity, was a snake.  The snake could very well have been a diamondback rattlesnake, but luckily for Buddy, it was an average-sized, generic black racer.  As we all know black racers are harmless members of the snaky kind, but Buddy didn’t understand harmless.

The black racer came boiling out of that hole right into Buddy bear’s face.

Buddy, in case you are wondering, knew he was about to be eaten by that vicious, raging, in your face SNAKE!

In case you didn’t know, bears consider all snakes deadly, and from generations of bad experiences taught them by venomous members of the snaky kind, are wise to avoid all snakes, all the time.

When the black racer erupted from that hole into Buddy’s face it frightened the little bear so bad that he proved, beyond a benefit of the doubt, that bears do in fact, “bleep” In the woods.

My courageous little bear friend was so frightened he fell over backward, landing on his broad bear behind, and then, moaning all the while he dashed up a nearby oak tree to sit up there staring down at the ground as though he expected the snake to follow him, while he cried and whimpered and pouted for the next hour.

Editor’s Note: Please stay tuned next week for another episode from Buddy bear’s life growing up in the big swamp next to central Florida’s beautiful Wekiva River)

Charles Towne is first and foremost a Christian. An octogenarian, author, journalist, wildlife photographer, naturalist, caregiver, and survivor, his life has been and continues to be, a never-ending adventure filled with possibilities never imagined. He has adopted the philosophy that to Live fully, laugh uproariously, love passionately, and learn like there is no tomorrow, is a formula for a long and joy-filled life.


  1. How wonderful that you were able to witness something so delightful! I love bears and all of their quirks. Keep spreading the word my dear friend….

  2. Dear NH, YOU ARE SO RIGHT! If one is fortunate enough to be able to spend as much time with bears as I have you are bound to see some strange and wonderful things. Bless you both, Chaz

  3. Coming across a snake of any kind scares the crap out of most people and now I know I can include bears in that statement. Having met a rattlesnake snake or two in the Pennsylvania woods as a kid I wish I was as accomplished at tree climbing as Buddy. Keep the good stories coming.

  4. Mike Mike, could it be that the fear folks have of snakes is hardwired into them? I have handled snake most of my life and when one surprises me I still jump. I have successfully helped people overcome their fear of snakes. Thanks pal, Chazcharles

  5. WOW!!
    What a once-in-a-lifetime experience, seeing all that
    comotion!! You must have
    chuckled for days, just
    thinking about it!!
    Poor little bear…so glad he
    wasn’t hurt.
    I love your stories, Chuck!
    Thank you for sharing and
    making me smile.
    God bless you!!

  6. Dear CSG, I am sure that Buddy bear didn’t think it was funny. My life has been full of such encounters. I feel sorry for folks that are so frightened by life that they don’t really live. May Papa God bless you and keep you. Chaz

  7. I can’t wait for more of Buddy’s adventures! I can’t think of a better motivation to climb a tree quickly than to have a snake chase you!

  8. Richard, I can’t help but imagine that Papa God has created each of us with a keen sense of adventure. I followed Buddy bear for over a year for as much as eight and ten hours a day and he taught me a lot about a bear’s life in that time. Bless you my friend, Chaz

  9. Yes Jorge, what a bear he was. from our very first encounter he taught me what it was like to be a bear , and I learned fast. Bears are such remarkable creatures aren’t they? Chaz

  10. Love the beauty of nature and the lessons we can learn from it! I especially love it when God gives us the most amazing encounters with His wild critters!!! God bless all the little Buddy’s in the world!!!


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